Le Tour

It took about 9 hours to get from Bristol to Bradford on Friday. We left at 3pm and crept into the crepuscular northern town after 10pm. The next day we headed out towards Addingham to catch the first day of Le Tour, whilst the rest of the family staked out a spot in Skipton. The ride up towards the route was an unnerving affair; hordes of people heading in the same direction, on foot or by bike, legions, rows, waves, a steady flight of ridiculously excited people.

The caravan was very exciting; we scrabbled in the dust and asphalt for prized bits of swag. Mike just missed out on a polka dot cap after it landed too near another fellow and he wasn’t prepared to fight for it. I would have pushed the chap into the drystone wall, grabbed the swag and legged it.

Close-up
Mike moonlights for the South
Contador and Rogers

On the second day we were on Oxenhope Moor, where upwards of 40,000 spectators were kept in check by the diligent efforts of one policeman.

Luckily the Carrefour Swagman was hurling out caps with metronomic efficiency and we managed to score a couple. The hillside was covered with people; I was in awe of the sheer numbers of spectators. It was far more than were at the last big race I’ve seen; Paris-Roubaix. Beyond that, what made it special was the sense that it had captured the imagination of the whole of Yorkshire. Support for the tour was discernible in every village, every shop, street and establishment, even many miles from the route. There was a regional pride and complete determination to somehow combine the cultural force of the Tour with the innate and captivating identity of Yorkshire, both in terms of the awe-inspiring scenery, and in terms of the people that live there. It became a festival of many things and it was incredible. Belle mentioned this morning how it all seems like a dream; a technicolour riot of movement and sound. There’s not much more I can say or write, it was a brilliant weekend; a sentiment shared by everyone who went. I’m still reeling from the excitement.

There is a peloton in there somewhere (pic: liverpool echo)

Lastly, according to Strava, my time up Holme Moss was 36 seconds quicker than Laurens Ten Dam, Lars Boom, Ted King and the others managed in yesterday’s race. This is quite reassuring. I’ll ignore the fact that i rode it as a double hill climb, whereas they rode it as one of 9 classified climbs in a 124 mile stage. Marcus Burghardt was 3 seconds up. I’ll let him have that one.

5 thoughts on “Le Tour

  1. tejvancycling July 8, 2014 / 8:30 am

    Nice blog and photos. I got to Oxenhope Moor a couple of hours after race. Unbelievable days. Bumped into a Bristol South Jersey on Ripon bypass the previous day.

    • traumfahrrad July 8, 2014 / 8:04 pm

      the South up North…
      Totally amazing weekend. Did your KOM remain intact?

      • tejvancycling July 14, 2014 / 9:08 am

        They took Cragg Vale 3 minutes slower than a guy doing a time trial. Mind you they did have feed station at bottom of climb.

  2. mrah702Andy November 1, 2014 / 9:08 pm

    Is this the end of this blog?. Shame if it is as have enjoyed your posts over the years. Still all good things etc etc. Thanks anyhow.

    • traumfahrrad November 1, 2014 / 10:48 pm

      Is not the end, thanks for asking though. It’s a brief hiatus while I finish a project. more details in about a week’s time…

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